ROK and Inter-Korean relations
Officials and students of both Koreas to meet
May 23, 2005 ? The two Koreas will hold a
working-level meeting in Kaesong Tuesday to
finalize specifics of next month's agreed-upon
visit by a South Korean delegation to Pyongyang.
The group, led by Unification Minister Chung
Dong-young, will attend the June 15 joint
celebration marking the fifth anniversary of an
inter-Korean summit. Besides administration
officials, lawmakers including Uri Party
Chairman Moon Hee-sang and Grand National
Representative Kim Deog-ryong plan to attend the
Additionally, university students from both
Koreas will meet at the North's Mount Kumgang
resort today and tomorrow to make plans for the
inter-Korean celebration. About 450 South Korean
students and 100 North Koreans will attend this
week's gathering; their itinerary includes
mountain climbing and cultural performances.
Koreas Prepare for June Event
Kim Dae-jung May Visit N. Korea as Main Architect
By Ryu Jin
While a bit eclipsed by the nuclear standoff, South and North Korea have
already started to liven up joint events to celebrate the inter-Korean summit
in 2000 as the North has invited some high-profile figures from the South,
including key aides to former President Kim Dae-jung.
Lim Dong-won and Park Jie-won, main architects of the first-ever summit, were
invited along with others who had pushed for the landmark event five years ago
to visit Pyongyang to attend the June 14-17 festivities marking its fifth
anniversary, according to officials yesterday.
North balks again on 6-way talks
May 20, 2005 ? Representatives of North and
South Korea reached an accord on several issues
involving inter-Korean relations yesterday, but
failed to make progress on the key issue of
when, or if, Pyongyang might return to the six-
nation nuclear disarmament talks.
Roh says war almost never justifiable, must be
May 20, 2005 ? President Roh Moo-hyun,
addressing foreign diplomats yesterday, spoke
extemporaneously about war, saying it is almost
Mr. Roh had invited diplomats and their spouses
from 92 diplomatic offices in Seoul to the Blue
House for a reception.
"For a particular nation or people, war may be
recorded as great history," Mr. Roh said. "But
for other people, war is never great or happy.
Just how many wars have happened in history that
were great for a nation or people and also great
from the perspective of world peace, human
dignity and values?"
He continued, "We should prevent war by all
means. I hope we can achieve world peace by our
Unification Minister Counters Criticism
By Reuben Staines
Unification Minister Chung Dong-young Saturday
promised that Seoul will continue to press North
Korea on the nuclear issue as he fended off
criticism from conservatives who claim he is
using the inter-Korean dialogue to boost his own
GNP bills would aid veterans, defectors
May 21, 2005 ? Opposition Grand National Party
members have introduced a series of bills aimed
at supporting veterans, defectors and others
regarded as patriots. The measures will be
submitted next month to the National Assembly
One bill for veterans would upgrade medical and
social welfare benefits for the 359,000 soldiers
who served in the Korean or Vietnam wars.
About 245,000 of them who are over 65 years old
now receive 60,000 won ($60) per month in
veteran support payments.
Another proposal, prepared by the lawmaker Park
Se-hwan, calls for the government to exert more
effort to discover and repatriate the remains of
Korean soldiers who died during the two wars.
A bill prepared by Representative Lee Kei-kyung
seeks to recognize as "men of merit" the 12
surviving members of a band of 45 citizens who
voluntarily guarded the Dokdo islands against
Japanese aggression in the 1950s.
After the Korean War, Japanese vessels sailed
toward the islands, but residents from the
nearby Ulleung island formed the civilian guard,
sailed to Dokdo and successfully held off the
Flames of Kwangju Resistance Must Be Kept
Raging: Rodong Sinmun
Pyongyang, May 19 (KCNA) -- The flames of the
Kwangju resistance in south Korea must be kept
raging. The desire of the resistance fighters
can be realized only by bringing earlier the
reunification of the country through three forms
of cooperation: cooperation for national
independence, peace against war and
reunification and patriotism. Rodong Sinmun
Thursday says this in an article dedicated to
the 25th anniversary of the heroic Kwangju
Inter-Korean Working-level Talks Close
Kaesong, May 19 (KCNA) -- The working-level
talks between the north and south authorities,
which opened in Kaesong on May 16, closed today.
At the talks our side pointed to the principled
issues of fundamental significance in tiding
over the abnormal situation beclouding the
prospect of inter-Korean relations and
developing them in the spirit of the June 15
Our side underlined the need for the south side
to have the stand of developing the inter-Korean
relations in the idea of by our nation itself
and on the principle of national cooperation,
free from the outdated viewpoint of negating our
bedrock, pursuing the showdown between the
systems and attaching importance to cooperation
with outside forces as evidenced by its action
to prevent a civilian memorial delegation from
visiting Pyongyang in July last year. At the
talks both sides adopted a joint press release
after agreeing on it.
North, South take a break from edgy talks
May 19, 2005 ? Representatives of the two Koreas
stepped back yesterday from efforts to advance
bilateral relations after negotiations bogged
down following two days of talks. The
delegations said they intended to resume their
discussions today as South Korea's
representatives returned yesterday to the
capital for consultations.
Seoul had held out hope that the contacts in
Kaesong, North Korea, would conclude Tuesday
with the announcement of a joint statement, but
the two sides failed to reach agreement on
almost every issue discussed, including North
Korea's nuclear arms development, whether to
revive family reunions and detailed arrangements
for a visit to Pyongyang by South Korean
officials next month.
Unification Ministry officials in Seoul said a
chief disagreement was whether the principle of
keeping the Korean Peninsula nuclear-free would
be cited in a statement at the end of the talks.
Determined to address North Korea's nuclear
programs, Seoul insisted the issue be included,
but North Korea rejected the idea.
President lauds Gwangju uprising 'victory'
May 19, 2005 ? GWANGJU ? To commemorate the 1980
uprising in support of democracy in the country,
President Roh Moo-hyun said yesterday that
Korean society has evolved to the point where it
is now a major factor driving state affairs.
Joined by other political leaders, Mr. Roh went
to this southern city yesterday to attend the
25th-year anniversary ceremony of the May 18
Democratization Movement, one of the most tragic
and important events in modern Korean history.
"The history of May 18 is a history of victory,"
Mr. Roh said in his speech at the May 18
National Cemetery. "Brutal violence of military
rule failed to dishearten Gwangju citizens'
passion for democracy. It showed how great the
power of the citizenry is."
[EDITORIALS]Fertilizing bilateral relations?
One wonders what exactly the objective of the
government is in holding talks with the North
when taking a look at its negotiating attitude.
We have argued that the North's nuclear
ambitions and bilateral relations cannot be
dealt with separately at these talks.
Nevertheless, the government is making a mistake
by making a proposal that veers from nuclear
The proposal in question is asking the North to
hold senior-level minister meetings at a joint
celebration to mark the fifth anniversary of the
June 15 inter-Korean summit between then-
President Kim Dae-jung of South Korea and North
Korean leader Kim Jong-il in 2000.
The celebration is an annual event in which
civic organizations from both the South and
North and abroad participate. Thus, the event
can be conducted on a civilian level. Why do we
have to push for a minister-level meeting at
During talks with the North, we only briefly
touched upon the North Korean nuclear issue like
it was trivial matter. It looked like the
government was trying to get a nod from
Pyongyang for a ministerial meeting in
Pyongyang. Does the government have no pride
Chung Wants to Meet NK Leader
By Joint Press Corps & Ryu Jin
KAESONG, North Korea - South Korean Unification
Minister Chung Dong-young will likely lead the
government delegation to Pyongyang to jointly
celebrate the fifth anniversary of the inter-
Korean summit in 2000, officials said yesterday.
South, North Tentatively Agree to Cabinet Talks
Kaesong Talks Resume By Reuben Staines
Seoul and Pyongyang will resume tense vice-
minister-level negotiations at the North Korean
border town of Kaesong Thursday, with the South
seeking to stabilize inter-Korean ties and woo
the reclusive communist nation back to the
nuclear bargaining table.
The two Koreas have tentatively agreed to hold
Cabinet-level talks in June but remain at odds
over other major issues, Unification Ministry
officials said Wednesday.
``A key stumbling block is the North's refusal
to mention the nuclear issue in a statement to
be issued at the end of the talks,'' a source
close to the talks said.
Two Koreas to Hold Worship in Mt. Kumgang
By Kim Ki-tae
Christians from South and North Korea will hold a religious service together
for the unification of the peninsula in the North's Mt. Kumgang on May 24.
The National Council of Churches in Korea, the association of the South Korea's
Protestant sects, yesterday announced that around 200 priests and laymen will
cross the border to attend the service. Some 20 North Korean Christians are
also expected to attend. The Communist nation
has one Protestant church called ``Pongsu'' in
``The service will be monumental as it is the
first of its kind to be held in the peninsula,
attended by laymen from across the border,''
said Rev. Kim Tae-hyon, the council's executive
The joint religious service was agreed upon by
the council and the North's Korea Federation of
Christians last October. During the ceremony, 20
South Koreans from Dong Kwang Church in Seoul
and 10 North Koreans from the Pongsu church will
form a joint choir.
- North's Stalling Tactics
Don't Avoid Nuclear Discussion with Seoul
Vice ministers from the two Koreas will meet again on Thursday to wrap up their extended talks with a package settlement. As expected, the biggest stumbling block was the difference over the North's nuclear program. There have been agreements on the resumption of Cabinet-level dialogue and joint celebration of the fifth anniversary of historic inter-Korean summit. All these, however, will lose luster if the two sides fail to include Pyongyang's commitment to the nuclear issue in the joint statement
Seoul's Offer Will Satisfy Both US, N.Korea'
_ Unification Minister May Explain Details to Kim Jong-il _
By Ryu Jin
South Korea has been drawing up a new proposal that can satisfy both North Korea and the United States so the multilateral talks on the North's nuclear program, once resumed, could see ``substantial progress,'' Seoul's top diplomat said Wednesday.
``We will consult with concerned nations on what can be included in our proposal, based on the one we had already presented in the third round of the six-party talks last June,'' Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ban Ki-moon said.
He added Seoul will have the new proposal contain ``more common grounds'' between the U.S. and the North so they could find ``sufficient room'' to find a compromise to end the standoff over the nuclear issue. [Self delusion]
North, South wrangle at engagement talks
May 18, 2005 ? On the second day of inter-Korean
talks in Kaesong, North Korea, representatives
from Seoul and Pyongyang struggled yesterday to
find common ground as negotiators argued over
the specifics of fertilizer aid from the South
and a planned visit next month by a South Korean
delegation to the North.
The two sides planned to end the meeting around
4 p.m. and to issue a statement, but the talks
bogged down over almost all issues covered.
On Monday in the first day of talks, the two
sides agreed that Seoul would provide 200,000
tons of fertilizer aid to North Korea. At
yesterday's meeting, North Korea requested that
Seoul increase the amount and send the first
shipment before the end of May, according to
pool reports from the joint press corps. South
Korea, however, said a ministerial meeting
should be arranged in June to discuss additional
In January, the North initially asked for
500,000 tons of fertilizer, but the South was
reluctant to provide the aid, citing worsening
public opinioin at home and abroad over
Pyongyang's nuclear arms development.
Mr. Chung became the unification minister in
July, but inter-Korean contacts stalled shortly
after he assumed the post.
After Seoul secretly airlifted more than 460
North Korean defectors from Vietnam, Pyongyang
cut off contacts in protest.
Inter-Korean Working-level Talks Open
Kaesong, May 16 (KCNA) -- The working-level
talks between the north and south authorities
were opened here Monday. The talks were attended
by delegates led by Kim Man Gil, deputy director
of the Secretariat of the Committee for the
Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, and
suite members from the north side and delegates
with Ri Pong Jo, "vice-minister of Unification,"
as chief delegate and suite members from the
Minister Chung Seeks to Visit NK
By Joint Press Corps & Ryu Jin
KAESONG, North Korea _ South and North Korea on
Tuesday agreed to jointly observe the fifth
anniversary of the inter-Korean summit in 2000,
with the South sending a government-level
delegation to Pyongyang, officials said.
However, the two Koreas engaged in late-night
negotiations, falling short of a package deal
that includes agreements on major agenda,
including the resumption of inter-Korean
ministerial talks and a new round of temporary
reunion of separated families.
Seoul Woos N. Korea With Economic Aid
By Joint Press Corps & Ryu Jin
KAESONG, North Korea _ Will North Korea finally
return to the multinational nuclear talks to
unwrap the ``mysterious package'' offered by the
Since South Korea has pulled a lure out of its
pocket to coax the reclusive North back to the
bargaining table, all the eyes of the world are
fixed on one question: what is the ``important
proposal'' that Seoul said it will spell out in
the next round of six-party talks?
Vice Unification Minister Rhee Bong-jo, the
Southern chief delegate to the two-day talks
between the two Koreas here in Kaesong, told his
North Korean counterpart Kim Man-gil that Seoul
would present a new proposal at the negotiation
table once Pyongyang returns to the six-way
Making History in Cheju
By Andrei Lankov
Cheju, the only island province of Korea, is now marketed as a sub-tropical
paradise, a land of picturesque mountains, waterfalls and wild flowers. Few
people outside Korea know that within living memory this paradise was the site
of the worst civil conflict in the nation's recent history, second only to the
Korean War in the loss of human lives.
On April 3, 1948, at 2:00 a.m., signal bonfires were lit on the slopes of
Cheju's mountainsides. Following the signal, the mobile well-armed groups
proceeded to their targets: police stations, headquarters of ``reactionary''
(that is, anti-left) political associations, and government offices. The groups
were poorly armed, but they had surprise and planning on their side. By dawn,
all those symbols of authority had been put to the torch, their defenders
killed or driven away. The Cheju Uprising had began.
South offers North payoff for 6-way talks
May 17, 2005 ? In the first high-level meeting
in 10 months between representatives of the two
Koreas, a Seoul official offered major
incentives yesterday to Pyongyang if it would
return to the stalled six-party nuclear
disarmament talks. South Korean officials did
not specify what the offer was.
For its part, North Korea asked for supplies of
fertilizer and rice. South Korean officials said
they would provide the fertilizer.
[Aid weapon] [Self delusion]
Two Koreas engaged in months of contact
May 17, 2005 ? For six months, top officials
from North and South Korea have been carrying on
secret communications as Seoul has sought ways
of restarting a high-level dialogue with
Pyongyang, senior officials of South Korea's
Unification Ministry said yesterday.
Unification Minister Chung Dong-young, Seoul's
top North Korea policymaker, exchanged three
letters with Im Dong-ok, a senior North Korean
Workers' Party official in charge of South Korea
affairs, over the past six months, Seoul
officials said. The latest exchanges took place
early this month in hopes of resuming the
stalled inter-Korean talks, they said.
"The North Korean official who contacted
Minister Chung three times in writing was Im
Dong-ok, first deputy director of the Workers'
Party's Unification Front Division," a high-
ranking Unification Ministry official said.
"Through such contact, secret high-level talks
between the two Koreas, which ceased after the
end of President Kim Dae-jung's administration,
Telephone Message to South Side
Pyongyang, May 14 (KCNA) -- Senior Councillor of
the Cabinet Kwon Ho Ung who is heading the
north's side delegation to the North-South
Ministerial Talks today sent a telephone message
to "Minister of Unification" of south Korea Jong
Tong Yong who is chief delegate of the south
side's delegation in connection with the
dispatch of its delegates to the working talks
between the north-south authorities. Noting that
the fifth anniversary of the historic June 15
North-South Joint Declaration is drawing near,
the message said:
To our regret, the relations between the
authorities of the north and the south have not
yet departed from confrontation contrary to the
basic spirit of the joint declaration.
This greatly disappoints all the fellow
Both sides should remain true to the idea of by
our nation itself, the basic spirit of the joint
declaration, under any circumstances.
Proceeding from this, we have the pleasure to
notify you that we will send three delegates and
three suite members to Kaesong from May 16 to 17
for the working-level talks between the
authorities of the north and the south, prompted
by the desire to put the inter-Korean relations
on a normal track in the idea of by our nation
itself at an early date.
We deem it advisable to discuss and decide on
specific technical issues related to the talks
through the contact between liaison
representatives in Panmunjom.
Looking forward to a positive response from your
Chung Expresses Hopes for S-N Talks
By Ryu Jin
Unification Minister Chung Dong-young, left, and other well-wishers wave
good-bye to the Southern delegates before the delegates' departure for Kaesong
in North Korea for a two-day meeting, in front of the Office of the South-North
Dialogue in Seoul, Monday. Yonhap
After enduring months of frustrations, Unification Minister Chung Dong-young
``It is very good news _ like welcome rain after a long drought!'' he said,
expressing his excitement at the reopening of inter-Korean talks in Kaesong on
And there are plenty of reasons for him to be so pleased at the outset of the
first official inter-Korean talks in 10 months.
Only days after he took the oath as the South's unification minister, a series
of unsavory events took place to sour inter-Korean relations, which had slowly
flourished in recent years since the first-ever summit in June 2000.
On July 8, Pyongyang slammed Seoul's disapproval of a trip of a group of South
Koreans who intended to present condolences to the late North Korean leader Kim
Il-sung. The relations worsened when a total of 468 North Korean defectors were
airlifted to Seoul later in the month.
And, to his dismay, Chung, who took a one-month special lesson on inter-Korean
affairs, had to helplessly see the 15th round of Cabinet-level talks, which he
had so anticipated in August, canceled amid the soured relations.
Troubleshooters Meet as Chief Delegates
By Joint Press Corps & Ryu Jin
KAESONG, North Korea - ``Long time no see.'' ``Let's try to make it.''
A well-prepared negotiator from Seoul and a rising star from Pyongyang, both
called ``troubleshooters,'' met again yesterday more than a year after their
South Korea's Vice Unification Minister Rhee Bong-jo and Kim Man-gil, a deputy
director at North Korea's Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful
Reunification of the Fatherland, sat down for one-on-one talks in the North's
border city of Kaesong.
In August 2002, when the inter-Korean ministerial talks had stalled after a
fatal naval clash in June the same year, Rhee and Kim attended a working-level
officials' meeting at the North's scenic Mt. Kumgang, which led to the seventh
round of Cabinet-level talks between the two Koreas.
South Korea Makes Offer To North as Talks Resume
High-Level Meeting Is Attempt at Reviving Nuclear Negotiations
By Anthony Faiola
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, May 17, 2005; Page A12
TOKYO, May 16 -- South Korea resumed high-level diplomatic talks on Monday with
North Korea and said it had made a new proposal for jump-starting stalled
international negotiations to dismantle the North's nuclear weapons program.
South Korean officials refused to provide details, but the offer marked another
attempt by the Seoul government to position itself as a mediator in the nuclear
crisis with North Korea that has raised tensions across East Asia. During the
last round of six-nation disarmament talks 11
months ago, South Korea floated an unsuccessful
proposal involving aid and security guarantees
to the North. Officials in Seoul on Monday
suggested that the new offer may be more
attractive than the previous one.
South Korea has been pressing the Bush
administration to be more flexible in
negotiations with North Korea.
[Friction] [Self delusion]
North, South resuming direct talks at Kaesong
May 16, 2005 ? After a halt of almost a year in
direct contact between the two Koreas, the two
sides said over the weekend they would resume
high-level talks today over fertilizer supplies
from the South, plans to improve the inter-
Korean rail system and when to restart
A senior government official involved in talks
with the North said yesterday that South Korean
and North Korean officials would meet today in
Kaesong over two days to address ways to improve
"Law on Past History" Recently Adopted in S.
Korea Termed Unpopular
Pyongyang, May 13 (KCNA) - The "law on the past
history" that had long remained a controversial
issue between the ruling and opposition camps
formally passed through the south Korean
National Assembly recently. But it turned out to
be an unpopular one as it is quite contrary to
its original purport. It was a product of the
compromise between the two camps. The law calls
for ncluding what they call "violence by pro-
north and pro-communist forces" denying and
antagonizing the "true nature" of the south
Korean system among the objects of the probe
into the past crimes
South, North Meet on Monday Amid Hopes for Nuke
By Ryu Jin
Senior officials from South and North Korea will
hold talks on Monday after a 10-month hiatus to
discuss the ever intensifying standoff over
Pyongyang's endeavor to develop nuclear weapons
and normalize the inter-Korean dialogue.
English Defense Paper Issued
By Jung Sung-ki
The Defense Ministry Saturday published an
English version of its annual defense white
paper, in which the Dokdo islets are specified
as being part of the country's outer
The latest white paper avoids labeling North
Korea the country's ``main enemy,'' only
referring to the communist regime's conventional
weapons, weapons of mass destruction and
forwarded-deployed troops as a ``direct
Two Northern boats briefly cross border
May 14, 2005 ? Two North Korean patrol boats
briefly violated the maritime inter-Korean
border in the Yellow Sea yesterday, but pulled
back after warnings from the South Korean Navy,
the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
"We don't think they were trying to raise
tensions," said an official with the Joint
North Korea does not acknowledge the Northern
Limit Line in the Yellow Sea, which was
established by the United Nations Command at the
end of the Korean War in 1953.
The navies of both Koreas last year established
a radio and flag communication system to reduce
the risk of confrontations in the area, which
have happened sporadically. South Korea last
month said it was considering deploying small,
radio-controlled planes with cameras and sensors
to monitor the area.
Samsung Donates W30 Bil. to Yonsei University
By Moon Gwang-lip
Samsung Group has decided to donate 30 billion
won ($30 million) to a prestigious private
school, Yonsei University in celebration of its
May 13, 2005 ?
South Korea's Red Cross demonstrated yesterday a
model video from Byun O-nam, 87, whose family
was separated during the Korean War. It is hoped
that similar videos can be sent to North Korea
for relatives of divided families. The Red Cross
intends to make 4,000 videos this year for
eventual delivery to the North.
Roh Stresses Securing Peace on Korean Peninsula
By Shim Jae-yoon
Korea Times Correspondent
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan - President Roh Moo-hyun
told his fellow countrymen Wednesday that the
pace of reunification of the two Koreas should
not be hasty.
``It will take lots of time for us to achieve
the reunification of the Korean Peninsula,
although all of us long and strive for it,'' Roh
said during a meeting with a group of ethnic
``I think the slower reunification comes, the
less costs and the fewer side effects will be
involved,'' he said. [Diaspora]
Rush on to abandon citizenship
May 12, 2005 ? Prompted by a revision in laws
governing Korean nationality, parents with sons
who have dual citizenship have been rushing to
immigration bureaus in the country to give up
their children's claim to Korean citizenship so
that the sons need not serve in the military.
Responding on the sudden surge in applicants
seeking to renounce their citizenship, an
official with the Immigration Bureau said
yesterday, "With more than 95 percent of the
applicants being male nowadays this has the look
of a draft-dodging attempt by those who do not
want to face mandatory military service."
The rush to drop Korean citizenship was
triggered by a bill passed on Wednesday that
would bar individuals with dual citizenship from
renouncing their Korean citizenship until after
fulfilling their military duties.
The law will take effect at the end of this
month or the beginning of next month. After
completing a medical examination and being
declared fit, all South Korean males must serve
24 months of military service sometime after the
age of 20. The lengths of service vary by a few
months depending on the branch of the military.
Young Men Abandoning Nationality Over New Law
By Kim Rahn
A surging number of young Korean males with dual
nationality have given up their Korean
citizenship in a bid to avoid mandatory military
S-N Families to Get Video Messages
By Reuben Staines
The emotional messages and life stories of
thousands of elderly South Koreans who were
separated from relatives in the North by the
Korean War will be recorded on film, the
Unification Ministry said Wednesday.
Jung Seung-hun, director of the ministry's
separated family division, said Seoul is seeking
an agreement with Pyongyang to have the video
messages from South Koreans delivered to their
long-lost family members.
S. Korean Publisher to Pay $150,000 for NK Novel
SEOUL (Yonhap) - A South Korean publishing firm
said Wednesday it will pay $150,000 in copyright
royalties to a North Korean writer, marking the
first such deal since Seoul vowed to honor the
copyright of North Korean publications in April.
GNP Proposes Joint Fishing Zone in West Sea
The main opposition Grand National Party (GNP)
on Wednesday proposed that the government
designate a joint fishing zone for the two
Koreas around the sea border that divides the
The area surrounding South Korea's Yonpyong
Island, which is 180 meters south of the
Northern Limit Line, the de facto maritime
border, has been congested with Chinese fishing
boats at the peak of crab catching season.
In June 1999 and June 2002, vessels from the
South and North's navies clashed in waters
around the western sea border.
N. Korean Novel to Be Made Into S. Korean Film
By Kim Ki-tae
A South Korean filmmaker will screen a North
Korean novel on the life of the 16th century
hostess Hwang Chin-i.
Siz Entertainment yesterday said that it had
recently signed a copyright agreement with
unidentified North Korean authorities. The novel
``Hwang Chin-i'' was written by North Korean
novelist Hong Sok-jung in 2002 and also
published in South Korea last year.
``We reached the agreement during a recent visit
to Kaesong in the North,'' Siz's president Jo
Seong-won said. However, he declined to comment
on the details. The filmmaker is to hold a
relevant press conference at 2 p.m. today.
Meanwhile, Yonhap News Agency yesterday reported
the filmmaker will likely shoot most of the
scenes in the North from spring next year. If
the reported plan is realized, it will be the
first South Korean film shot on North Korean
Korea University chief rejects resignations
May 10, 2005 ? Korea University President Euh
Yoon-dae rejected yesterday resignations handed
in by 10 senior officials, who offered to step
down following protests at last Monday's
honorary degree conferment ceremony for
Samsung's chairman, Lee Kun-hee.
S. Korean Top Diplomat's Anti-North Outcries
Pyongyang, May 7 (KCNA) -- It is an undeniable
reality and publicly recognized fact that the
U.S. attempt at invading the north is
frustrated, peace and security are ensured on
the Korean Peninsula and the destiny of the
Korean nation is protected by the powerful
nuclear deterrent of the DPRK. A spokesman for
the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of
the Fatherland said this in an answer given to a
question put by KCNA on Friday denouncing the
"minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade" of south
Korea for making impudent remarks seriously
getting on the nerves of the north.
It is needless to say that but for the DPRK's
nuclear treasured sword, the U.S. would have
ignited a war on the Korean Peninsula more than
a hundred times and south Korea, too, would have
not gone safe.
Now that south Korea, in actuality, has
benefited from the Songun policy and nuclear
umbrella of the north, the former should have
condemned the U.S. moves to impose war disasters
upon the Korean nation.
Opposition promotes human rights in North
May 09, 2005 ? The Grand National Party said
yesterday it will hold legislative discussions
Thursday to establish a North Korea Human Rights
Top universities face off with celebratory
May 09, 2005 ? The annual sports showdown
between the nation's long-time rival
universities has not begun yet, but Yonsei
University and Korea University are staking
their prestige in a challenge of a different
vintage: What wine goes best with what
At an event to commemorate Yonsei's 120th
anniversary, a Californian red wine was unveiled
to represent the school.
"We chose the Hawk Crest Cabernet Sauvignon
produced in the United States in 2000," the
school announced. Park Young-ryeol, head of the
school's external relations office, said Yonsei
received 3,000 bottles of Hawk Crest Cabernet
from an alumni group. Each bottle costs 30,000
won ($30). Yonsei decided to add an extra wine
label with a picture of an eagle, Yonsei's
mascot. The bottles will only be used for school
and will not be sold to the public.
Korea University bought 20,000 bottles of Medoc
wine last July to commemorate its centennial
this year. The Chateau La Cardonne was also made
in 2000. "It was sold to alumni for 33,000 won
each," Korea University said. The bottles had a
label attached depicting the school campus.
DJ Illusion, Completely Off the Limit
Final Edition of DJ's Self-Absorption
By Kwak Dae Jung, Editorial Board
[ 05.02.2005(Mon) 15:46 ]
Former president Kim delivering a speach in Asia
Kim Dae Jung, the former South Korean president
finished his seven day trip to the US and
returned to South Korea yesterday. Looking into
the speeches DJ made during his trip, we soon
discover his self-absorption has come to a
serious level. During his visit to the US, DJ
made speeches in various places including Asia
Association, University of San Francisco,
Stanford University. Since his speeches were
pretty much the same from one to the other,
let's look into his key points without going
through each of the speeches.
Some other statements made by DJ include US must
first provide economic compensation and regime
maintenance assurance to North Korea, North
Korea's goal is not nuclear weapons possession
but an improvement of US-DPRK relations, and
South Korea accepted all the North Korea
defectors until now and other gibberish
statements. At this point, there is no need to
even respond, but ignore them by saying, "we can
clearly see the level of DJ's Sunshine Policy."
Cooperation for Peace against War Called for
Pyongyang, May 4 (KCNA) -- Cooperation for peace
against war is a patriotic cause aimed at
shattering the evermore reckless moves of the
U.S. and Japanese aggressive forces for a war by
the concerted efforts of the Koreans, defending
the peace of the country and the security of the
nation and achieving the reunification of the
country, says Rodong Sinmun Wednesday in a
signed article. Now that the United States is
getting overheated in its moves to ignite a new
war, cooperation for peace against war presents
itself as a vital task to defend the security of
the Korean nation and dynamically advance the
cause of independent national reunification, the
article says, and goes on:
It is a vital issue related to the existence of
the Korean nation and its development to oppose
aggression and war and defend peace on the
The U.S. is the enemy of peace and an empire of
evils because it is engrossed in aggression,
war, murder and destruction in all parts of the
world while challenging the aspiration of
humankind for peace.
Nation to Dig Into Suspicious Deaths
By Seo Dong-shin
Lawmakers seem set to raise doubts on a number
of issues related to the nation's murky past,
following the passage of a bill aimed at
reviewing and cleaning up suspicious cases in
The bill was passed in a plenary session of the
National Assembly last Tuesday after months of
tug-of-war between the ruling Uri Party and the
main opposition Grand National Party (GNP).
As a result, an independent committee will be
able to inquire not only into power abuse cases
of previous authoritarian regimes as the ruling
party wanted, but also into the atrocities
committed by ``those who deny or antagonize the
legitimacy of the government,'' as the GNP
Rep. Lee In-young of the ruling party said
during a news conference at the Assembly that
now the truth must be told about a case of an
allegedly faked will in 1991.
According to a statement signed by 113
lawmakers, the government, led by former
President Roh Tae-woo, pinned trumped up charges
on Kang Ki-hoon, an activist, for forging the
will of his friend and fellow activist, Kim Ki-
Activists Disappointed By NK Rights Act
By Reuben Staines
Controversial North Korean human rights legislation passed by the United States
last year has so far failed to improve the situation for defectors fleeing the
communist nation, activists in Seoul said Friday.
``We think the progress in implementing the act has been too slow,'' said Kwon
Un-kyong, assistant secretary of NK Gulag, a civic group that assists North
Korean defectors hiding out in China. ``Many defectors say they can't feel any
Feeding children little but ideology
The symbol of the Sonyondan ? the Boys' Band of
North Korea ? is the red kerchief. North Korean
boys from age seven to 13 take this oath: "As
part of the faithful reserve troops to build
communism, I swear before the Sonyondan to grow
up to be a strong person." This ceremony is
pathetic to see on North Korean television. It
becomes even worse when the screen is filled
with a close-up of the eyes of one of these
boys, who should be growing up free but are
shouting for revolution.
The Sonyondan has a long history. Founded in
June of 1946, the organization is about to turn
60. But its origins go further back. It is known
that around 1930, when Kim Il Sung was a
guerrilla fighter against Japan, a form of
Sonyondan existed at Milmyeong, a secret
guerilla camp at Mount Baekdu.
A great day for the kids
Korea celebrated Children's Day yesterday, and
many parents had the day off in order to treat
kids to their heart's delight. There were
parades, gifts, good times at amusement parks
and, for some, even a chance to meet President
Above: A military unit stationed in Cheolwon,
Gangwon province, near the inter-Korean border,
invited children from nearby towns to the base.
Rodong Sinmun on Three Principles of National
Pyongyang, May 3 (KCNA) -- 33 years ago,
President Kim Il Sung met with the south side's
delegate who came here to attend the High-Level
Political Talks between North and South of Korea
and clarified the three principles of national
reunification, the cornerstone for the
accomplishment of the cause of national
reunification. In this regard Rodong Sinmun
today carries a signed article.
Korea University Fetes 100th Anniversary
By Bae Keun-min
Korea University, one of the most prestigious
private colleges in the nation, has marked the
100th anniversary of its foundation.
Documentary on NK Food to Be Made
By Kim Tae-jong
A documentary about North Korean cuisine will be
made by a South and North Korean production
The Koreans' Reunification of Hana said
Wednesday that they will make a documentary
introducing North Korean's 100 most favorite
Dictator's Bunker Found in Yoido
By Bae Keun-min
A 600-square-meter bunker has been found in
Yoido during a field study to construct a public
transportation transfer center.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government said Thursday
that it has found a bunker under a road in front
of a site where the Seoul Yoido Exhibition
Center was once located.
The government presumed the bunker was dugout
and built during the era of former President
S-N Exchanges Surge Despite Nuke Tensions
By Reuben Staines
Inter-Korean business and social exchanges have
surged this year despite worsening tensions over
North Korea's nuclear weapons programs,
according to government statistics released
The Unification Ministry said it approved
applications for 11 organizations to operate in
the inter-Korean cultural and social exchange
field in the first three months of this year.
It is the most applications ever approved in one
quarter. Only 15 applications for social and
cultural collaboration were approved in 2004 and
The approved companies and associations included three major South Korean
broadcasters _ KBS, MBC and SBS _ as well as a film company and a football
The ministry said the broadcasters' collaborative activities in the North are
becoming increasingly diverse, ranging from joint sporting events to
advertisements featuring North Korean cultural performances.
Korea University embarrassed by protesters
May 04, 2005 ? Embarrassed by a student protest
at Korea University during which the chairman of
Samsung Group, Lee Kun-hee, was brusquely
jostled, 10 senior officials at the school said
yesterday they would resign to take
responsibility for the incident.
On Monday, more than 100 students from the
student council and a pro-labor student group
turned out to demonstrate against a university
decision to give Mr. Lee an honorary degree in
philosophy. The group blocked the entrance to
the hall where the award was to be given and
loudly criticized Mr. Lee, calling him the
leader of a corporation "that suppresses labor
unions and discriminates against irregular
Mr. Lee had to be escorted by bodyguards, who
fought off students who were trying to reach
him. When several students attempted to barge
into the building where the ceremony was to be
held, school officials pulled down a shutter to
block the entrance.
In the end, the president of the university, Euh
Yoon-dae, conferred the doctorate on Mr. Lee in
an office of the school's director instead of in
the appointed hall. Mr. Lee abandoned his plan
to give the speech he had prepared for the
Samsung Group has been active in funding the
nation's educational institutes; it donated over
40 billion won ($40 million) for Korea
University's Centennial Memorial Samsung Hall,
the opening presentation of which will be a part
of the school's celebration of its 100th
History bill passes despite Uri objections
May 04, 2005 ? Despite angry opposition from
many lawmakers in the governing Uri Party, the
National Assembly yesterday passed a compromise
version of a long-disputed bill that sets up a
fact-finding commission to investigate aspects
of Korea's painful modern history.
The bill passed by a vote of 159-73, with 18
abstentions. Uri Party lawmakers were split
almost evenly on the bill, with 58 voting in
favor and 51 against.
Angry Uri hardliners said the intent behind the
new clause was to investigate dissidents during
the regimes, who were often accused of being
Anti-Chaebol Sentiment Converges on Samsung
By Kim Tae-gyu
In Korea, Samsung is almost ubiquitous as the
country's biggest group retains a raft of iconic
affiliates in such fields as electronics,
securities, insurance, heavy industries and it
even has an amusement park.
As the Samsung brand is seen everywhere, the
nation's anti-chaebol sentiment also pivots
about the group as demonstrated by a curious
mishap earlier this week.
On Monday, Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-hee
went to Korea University to receive an honorary
Ph.D., the degree Lee decided to accept due to
continual requests from the university.
The ceremony should be a glorious occasion for
the 63-year-old business magnate. However, it
quickly turned to humiliation as a group of
students made efforts to spoil it.
Roughly 100 Korea University students protested
in front of the Inchon Memorial Hall of the
university to block him from entering the
They chanted slogans saying that Lee does not
deserve the degree since he has oppressed union
activities in Samsung Group. However, most
subsidiaries of the group don't have trade
Assembly OKs Bill for Freer S-N Exchanges
By Seo Dong-shin
Beginning in November, South Koreans who want to
meet North Koreans will just have to report it
to the authorities prior to the visit, or after
the meeting in unexpected cases.
A revision of the Inter-Korean Exchange and
Cooperation Law, aimed at freer exchanges
between the two Koreas, passed the National
Assembly on Tuesday.
Previously, South Koreans who planned to meet
North Koreans had to wait for approval from the
Unification Ministry. But when the revision
takes effect, all they need to do is notify the
``We expect it will do away with bureaucracy and
be more convenient for everyone,'' an official
at the Unification Ministry told The Korea
Times. ``Unexpected cases'' refer to when South
Koreans encounter North Koreans in the South or
foreign countries without prior intention,
according to the official.
Although those who want to visit the North will
still need to obtain approval from the
government, there will be two kinds of
certificates introduced; a certificate for one-
time visits and another for occasional visits.
Those with a certificate for occasional visits
issued by the unification minister just need to
report the visit without providing further
Inter-Korean trade will be officially recognized
as ``internal trade between one people,'' not
between countries. It will be useful in blocking
international society from filing complaints
about inter-Korean trade without tariffs,
according to Rep. Im Jong-seok, a ruling Uri
Party lawmaker who has been pushing for the bill.
'Nationalism in N-E Asia Feeds on Feelings of
By Seo Dong-shin
One common characteristic of nationalism in
Northeast Asian countries is that it serves to
soothe the inferiority complex of people in the
region, a South Korean scholar at a Chinese
university claimed on Tuesday.
``A bundle of issues, such as the North Korean
nuclear program and China-Japan and South Korea-
Japan conflicts take turns, casting a shadow
over the future of Northeast Asia,'' said Park
Chang-geun, a professor at the School of
International Relations and Public Affairs at
Fudan University in Shanghai.
``At the root of the conflicts lies nationalism
indigenous to Northeast Asia,'' he said during
the ``World and Northeast Asia Peace Forum'' on
escalating nationalism in Northeast Asia, at
Seoul National University. Jang Sung-min, former
lawmaker, leads the forum.
Crab season renews feuds in Yellow Sea
May 03, 2005 ? YEONPYEONGDO, Incheon - Lately,
the fishermen living near this island complain
that they have little to do but that ?_complain.
Fishermen near Yeongpyeongdo, South Korea's
northernmost island off the west coast, say
their spring crab catch is being depleted by
Chinese fishing boats operating near the
Northern Limit Line, the maritime border with
North Korea. On Sunday, some of them decided it
was time to do something about it.
Just before 11 a.m. Sunday, fishermen say they
spotted four Chinese boats on the South Korean
side of the border. About 30 South Korean boats
went out and surrounded them.
Encircled and outnumbered, the Chinese vessels
were led to a nearby port on the island and held
there before being handed over to the Incheon
Maritime Police. Police said they would question
the Chinese about violating the territorial
Another scene yesterday illustrated how
Yeonpyeongdo fishermen are often helpless while
others snatch up what they see as their
livelihood. Yesterday afternoon, about 100
Chinese fishing boats were working the North
Korean side of the Northern Limit Line. In a
split second, as one of the ships approached the
line, South Korean naval vessels moved to block
it. But the Chinese boat quickly pulled farther
Deal reached on truth commission
May 03, 2005 ? Leaders of the Uri and Grand
National parties reached agreement on major
bills yesterday that include the controversial
bill to establish a fact-finding commission to
investigate the modern history of Korea.
After a long discussion yesterday, Chung Se-
kyun, floor leader of the governing Uri Party,
and his Grand National counterpart Kang Jae-sup
released a joint statement saying they had
reached an agreement on the truth commission
bill, as well as a bill that would allow the
National Assembly to investigate allegations of
"backdoor dealings" surrounding the opening of
the nation's rice market last year.
The two bills will likely be approved by the
full Assembly today or tomorrow.
The two parties have sparred over the truth
commission bill since last year. The Uri Party
introduced it as part of a reform package, with
the goal of investigating human rights abuse and
oppression committed by the military regimes in
the decades after the Korean War. The Grand
National Party wanted to expand the scope to
include "terror, violence, or massacre incidents
committed by the force that denies the
legitimacy of the South Korean government"
?_that is, by North Korea and any of its agents.
Yesterday, the Uri Party agreed to accept the
Grand National position.
[EDITORIALS]Defense Ministry's serious lapse
The Ministry of National Defense reacted
disappointingly to North Korea's test firing of
a missile, and we feel extremely concerned about
our nation's security.
The White House chief of staff quickly confirmed
that the North test-fired a short-range missile.
Japan's chief cabinet secretary also practically
confirmed the information, saying that a short-
range missile had appeared to be test-fired
based on the intelligence coming from its
While Korea's neighbors were confirming North
Korea's sensitive military action, South Korea's
Defense Ministry remained tight-lipped.
It is difficult to understand why the ministry
is doing everything to downplay the case,
declining to issue an official announcement.
Journalists requested confirmation from the
ministry. The ministry replied, "It is not a
matter that can be discussed. Please
Then, some senior government officials said the
missile test was "nothing significant." If it is
nothing significant, why can't the government
provide a detailed explanation to its people?
The ministry sources have been stressing that
the range of the missile fired was only 120
kilometers (75 miles) and it was a part of a
routine exercise that has taken place in the
Navy to Launch Stealth Destroyer Wednesday
The Navy said Monday that it will launch its
fourth 4,000-ton-class destroyer with a stealth-
like radar evading function, under a force
improvement program Wednesday.
The 4,200-ton ship, equipped with a range of
sophisticated weaponry systems, will be set
afloat in a shipyard in Ulsan, about 410
kilometers southeast of Seoul, it said in a
The Navy commissioned three 3,000-ton-class
destroyers in the late 1990s under the KDX-I
program, and plans to build three 7,000-ton-
class Aegis-equipped destroyers by 2010 under
the KDX-III program, it said.
In a separate naval force build-up program, the
Navy plans to construct by 2010 two 13,000-ton-
class large-deck landing ships, which can carry
up to 700 troops, 10 helicopters, 10 armored
vehicles and two small landing boats.
Hong said the Navy is also considering dubbing
one of the two large-deck landing ship to be
built as ``Dokdo.
Decision on Fighter Jets to Be Made This Month
The government will determine this month whether
to buy additional next-generation fighter jets,
after it completes introducing 40 F-15Ks under a
procurement project, code-named F-X, the Defense
Ministry said Monday.
South Korea has been pushing to introduce
another 40 fighters after it concludes the F-X
project in 2009 to replace its aging F-5 and F-4
jets. [military balance]
An Old Shadow-War Warrior Speaks Out A living,
walking history of Korea - 1945 to the present
Lee Wha Rang, April 28, 2005
Seattle, WA - A few days ago I spent all-day
listening to an unassuming Korean octogenarian,
who turned out to be a fearsome warrior in the
shadow war to topple North Korea's government
that began in 1945. His grandfatherly look and
demeanor hid a former street gang, terrorist,
assassin, spymaster, and active tireless fighter
for Korea's reunification. Despite his advanced
age, he travels to China, America, and former
Soviet republic in his crusade to topple Kim
Jong Il's regime. His name is Lee Youn-gil,
chairman, Council of Promoting Democratization
in North Korea and president, KLO Veterans'
Association (KLO - Korean Liaison Office - an
American spy organization established in 1949).
Few people know that it was Lee who had persuaded Hwang Jang-yup, North Korea's
'father of Jucheism" and onetime No 2 man under Kim Il Sung, to defect to
Seoul. Kim's strategy is to turn North Korea's elite against Kim Jong Il -
indeed turn Kim's own family and relatives against him. So far, Hwang Jang-yup
is Lee's biggest catch. The full story of Hwang's defection is yet to be told
(will be told in Lee's memoirs to be released in America soon).
Photo: Lee Youn-gil (left) and Hwang Jang-up in a Beijing hotel room.
Lee bribed Hwang's escort with $2,000 - about twice his annual pay in North
Korea - to gain access to him and used a promise of a 'huge sum of money' from
a Korean-American businesspersons to get Hwang's attention. Lee worked on Hwang
for several years on his own until toward the end, when things became too
involved for one person to handle, he brought in the Korea's intelligence
service, which was initially skeptical of Lee's claim of turning Hwang. Early
on, Hwang told Lee about North Korea's nuclear warheads on the ready and passed
this intelligence on to his government contact.
Hwang was rewarded amply by Seoul. He was given a large sum of money. He
charges for his frequent seminars, speeches, and interviews. He has written
prodigally and collects fat fees. He left his wife and children behind - it is
believed they have been severely punished. Meanwhile, he has fathered two
children with a lissome young South Korean woman, and does not seem to be
overly concerned over the family he left behind.
North, South celebrate summit
May 02, 2005 ? An event to celebrate the fifth
anniversary of the June 15 inter-Korean summit
will take place in Pyongyang in June.
In a joint statement, Seoul and Pyongyang said
they have agreed to hold the "June 15 Grand
Festival for Reunification" between June 14 and
A total of 1,500 participants, including 900
officials from both Koreas and overseas, will
gather in Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Stadium for a
mass rally, photo exhibition and artistic and
South Korean participants will arrive in
Pyongyang using a Yellow Sea route.
On June 15, 2000, former South Korean President
Kim Dae-jung met North Korean leader Kim Jong-il
in Pyongyang. It was the first-ever meeting
between leaders of both Koreas.
Seoul and Pyongyang will also celebrate Korea's
liberation from Japan in Seoul in August.
Korea University Sets Sights High
Korea Times Columnist
Korea University is not satisfied with being in
the top-tier of Korean post-secondary
institutions. It is no longer content to be
judged by local standards, preferring instead to
take its cues from the best universities
That's the key message of the university's
dynamic president, Euh Yoon-dae, who is working
overtime to shake things up at the 100-year-old
institution and push it to even greater heights.
``Our goal is to make Korea University
internationally competitive, to make it one of
the top 100 schools in the world,'' he said in
an exclusive interview with The Korea Times.
Responding to a question about the traditional
rivalry with Yonsei University, the president
added that he doesn't worry any more about how
his school stacks up against other Korean
``We're benchmarking ourselves against the
Harvards and the MITs of the world.''
In preparation for this year's events, the
university has spent the past 10 years
renovating its campuses and, in the process,
remodeling its image. Much has been made of
President Euh's decision to purchase red wine
from California and France for the celebration,
and his attempt to move the university beyond
its staunch nationalistic image but, according
to the president, the ceremony is much more
about school pride and showing that it belongs
in the top tier of institutions worldwide.
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